divorceinfo.com
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 31, 2014, 09:31:07 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
254503 Posts in 18125 Topics by 1390 Members
Latest Member: dv012314
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  divorceinfo.com
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Alabama Divorce Questions (Moderator: m_t)
| | |-+  He says he is moving/what age can the children choose?
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: He says he is moving/what age can the children choose?  (Read 4368 times)
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« on: October 13, 2008, 01:42:12 PM »

My ex told me that he will be moving to another town in AL. I know that in my divorce decree it says that if either of us move we must give written notice to the other party. I'm assuming that the judge gave my ex physical custody to him due to the fact that I moved out of state (though he didn't ask about exactly why it is that I moved out of state) and that my ex had family right in town who would help him with the children when need be. However, now that he plans to move to this other town (no, he has not given me written notice as of yet, just tells me on the phone) he'll no longer have family right in the same town. So, my question is if I allow him to move to this other town (not that the judge would allow me to say no considering this is where my ex's employment has been) how long does he have to live there before I can request a judge to look over our child custody again? Can I request it there or must I go back to that town that it was first decided in? Also, at what age can children decide where they want to live? This whole issue with my children having breakdowns (to the point of them having a hard time breathing and just screaming so horribly that when I have to bring them back I litterally wait for someone to call the cops!) and knowing that he stated in court that he has no problem with me having custody and the worst, hearing my children tell thier father they hate him. (Yes, if anyone cares I've made points to my children that we don't hate anyone in life, we get angry and we vent but we must never say that we hate someone. It's important to say that you are angry but it is also important to also know that you love them but to never say you hate them.) Anyways, they want to decide where they want to live, I've told them that they must wait until they are older but, for my own information I would like to know at what age in AL can a lawyer ask the judge to listen to them? The last time we went to court some things were said outside of the courtroom that no one knew about just before we called the kids in to talk to the judge (at the time they were 6 and 3) and the kids were scarred of the judge (thanks to thier granny! uugghh). Thanks~
Logged
TC
Guest
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 03:04:57 PM »

First of all, you can NOT stop him from moving.  Best case, if he was planning to move the children out of state and your decree specifically discussed this issue, you might have been able to keep him from removing the children from the state...but in your case, he can more than likely move them within the state whereever he chooses...and if he has a valid reason such as place of employment, which makes it sound like a relatively short move, I don't think you have a snowball's chance in hell of keeping him from it.....in fact, your trying to would probably just piss the court off.

As to when you can try and get the court to revisit the custody issue.....to the best of my knowledge there is no time limit on this.  Normally the prerequisite is a significant change in circumstances....drug abuse, felony, etc....

As for when the children can choose.....simple answer is:  When they turn 18.  Chidren don't choose which parent they live with.  In some circumstances during custody hearings a judge will entertain the children's preferences and factor them into the overall decision...but to the best of my knowledge, minor children never choose who they want to live with such that the courts honor this choice as a single determining factor.

Probably not the answers you were looking for, but it is how it is as I understand things....I should also tell you that I am not an attorney.  Look for responses from MT, Lee and Collegedad...they have good info and more often than not, better info than I do.

TC
Logged
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 08:38:34 PM »

 Sad Yeah, not the answers I would have wanted but it is how you understand the law to be and that is what I was looking for. If I had my way my children would have much more of a voice than they currently do. Of course, I find it too bad that they tell thier father they want to reside with me but, it's not law that they have a voice, which is what I was afraid of. How about if I take him back to court to revisit custody, will I have to go in front of the same judge? I would prefer not to as I felt that the judge didn't give me a fair hearing. Of course, he held it against me that I moved out of state but, he didn't take into consideration that my ex has family there and that I was living in his family home and that the reason I left my children with him is that my ex and I had come up with an agreement and made up our own divorce papers from one of those online sites. It's too bad...anyways, I'll be looking for answers from them, thanks for taking the time to answer me. I appreciate it. I'm off now, as I seem to be on a rant tonight LOL
Logged
TC
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 08:47:27 PM »

I have no idea if you will get a diff judge....but I don't think it will matter either way.  The fact that you moved out of state and left your children with your ex works against you big time....by doing so, you basically stated that you feel he is a competent and reliable parent.

TC
Logged
armywife1213
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 64


« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 11:25:10 PM »

There is a way that the move can be stopped..  IF he is the Custodial Parent and is Planning on moving more than 60 miles away from where he is now, he has to give that 45 day certified mailed written notice with the intentions of the move the purpose of the move, the address phone number for the school where the children will be going and the list of things goes on...THEN you I am assuming are the NON custodial parent, has 30 days of recipt of that notice to file an injunction with the courts in which the county the child resides in, at that time you may go after custody of the child(ren).   The custodial parent then has the burden of proof to show the courts to which the move would be in the best interest of the child(ren) and if he or she does then the burden of proof is upon the non custodial parent.  You would have to prove him unfit to change custody of your child.   I have been trying to move out of the state and county for 3 years, I keep getting informed of all these different reasons I cannot move such as MY children's paternal family all live in or around this county there for I can not move.  All my family but my parents and one sister and her 2 children live in Indiana Illionois and New York, and I am stuck here in One county of Alabama.  Also If he doesn't send you a proper written notice you can go a head and file a restraining order with the courts that he can't take kids out of county other than for normal visitation with you until you can go to court over not following Alabama State Law for the children's Relocation Act.  This law has worked against me in every which way...and has worked for my sister.
Logged
armywife1213
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 64


« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 11:29:06 PM »

I do have to agree tho with TC with you moving out of state does hurt your case.  But the best bet would be if the children are "scared" of the judge then request a guardian ad litem for them...I am suprised that didn't happen to begin with.  My children were 8 and 6 and werent allowed to speak to the judge.
Logged
m_t
Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 13773


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 08:05:14 AM »

Honestly? I don't know whose idea it was to have the children speak with the judge at 3 & 6, but I think it was a dreadful one, absent serious neglect/abuse. Given that you did leave the kids with him, neither of those would be the case.

Given that you are out of state and Dad is intending to remain IN state with his move, it's unlikely that you'll be able to stop the move. While it may meet the threshold of a "change of circumstance",  I just doubt it's going to be enough.

TC is right - the age the children can decide for themselves is 18. However, some judges will entertain the children's input at an earlier age. What age that may be is pretty unclear. A threshold that I've seen tends to be ~12, but is heavily dependent upon the child's maturity. Regardless, it puts the child in a terrible spot, IMO. A GAL is a much more effective resource to speak for the children's best interests.

Your description of their behavior, however, is concerning. How old are they now? Has there been any discussion between you and Dad about counseling for the kids? If not - there should be. If he's not interested, I'd ask the court to order it.
Logged

Fuck Cancer

"Women are angels. When someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly. On a broomstick. We are flexible."

Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them in with your favorite colors.
The Kite Runner, Khale
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 08:04:43 PM »

Thank you Armywife for answering. Yes, I believe that a guardian ad litem would have been best for the children however, the certain judge that I went to for custody is NOT in favor of guardian ad litem's and denied me of one when I requested it. I was told that this judge (denies the majority of the time) guardian ad litem's and home study's...both I requested, both I was denied. I requested a home study due to a picture that my ex emailed me.
m_t, our children are now 7 and 4. I've been concerned with thier emotional state and even stated it in court and to thier father directly, unfortunately he tells me he don't believe it is necessary and tells me that he don't have time for it anyways. Unfortunately, he works a lot and his step-mother has been the one who brings the children to the dr. and sitters always bring them to any extra things if they have it. I didn't know I could request it from the judge. I might do that, I feel that this is detrimental to my children.
When I left our children with him we had made a plan. He was to do and not do certain things....it all went out the window when he got a letter in the mail stating that he'd have to pay child support to me. As I tried to tell him, I didn't care any about the child support, we had agreed I would tell the courts that he was paying it and he and I would just purchase things the children needed as needed....but, I won't go on and on tonight. Thanks for your honest answers. I know my mistake was to trust him with the children and I see my children are paying an extremely high emotional/mental price.
Logged
TC
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 08:31:22 PM »

Whoa TMBS!  Take a small step back there......

If you left, moved out of state and left your children in the care of your stbx...I fail to understand why he would ever get a letter in the mail stating that he would be required to pay you child support.  That just doesn't add up. 

Sorry, not trying to challenge you here, so please don't take it that way....its just that I was following your story fine till that part came up...and it just doesn't add up for me.

As for your requests that were denied...did you have an attorney in this matter or were you representing yourself?  I'm starting to get the feeling that you represented yourself.....and if that is so, then I would follow with this....did you travel back to the state where your ex lives to appear at the court hearings or appear by mail/phone?

TC
Logged
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2008, 07:47:03 AM »

Oh the reason he got the paper stating he'd have to pay child support was that under the paperwork we got off from the internet for the divorce it stated that one parent had to be the "physical custody" parent and the other had custody...well, I would be the physical custody parent once I got set up here. Since he was the one working and I was just the one travelling with him then he would put down he was to pay child support of $600 a month, in which at the time we both agreed looked good on paper as we thought we did the figures correctly. Well, it looks as if we did not do the paperwork correctly because when the judge sent a paper to his house stating he would pay child support that was near $800. (Ok, that's nuts! IMO) But, it wasn't a paper stating he had to pay child support it was just the child support guideline paper that we had filled out and filed with our divorce papers, that's what was wrong and the judge would not accept our $600 agreement. So, I misspoke when I said he got a paper saying he'd have to pay child support. It was just the paper that stated that the amount we had come up with for the court's sake was no good. The children was supposed to be coming to me in less than three months. He wanted the children during baseball season and easter.
Yes, I had an attorney. The attorney tried to talk me out of even asking the judge for a guardian ad litem or a home study. The attorney told me that this judge does not like to approve requests of a guardian ad litem or home study, and yet I felt it couldn't hurt to ask. Of course, I was denied it but, I did try. Just made me upset that it seemed that no one was looking out for the best interests of the children and I was on a sinking ship and I can't swim.
Oh and I went to the court hearings personally.
Logged
TC
Guest
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2008, 09:23:20 AM »

Thanks for the explanation TMBS, that does clear things up.

Not sure there is much else you can do.  I know that is not what you want to hear, but it is what it is.  I'm not an attorney, but I do speak from experience.  When I left and filed for divorce....my intention was to do whatever it took to get my kids.  Shortly after I left, I found out that my ex was forging  checks (I had the cancelled copies) and tried to commit suicide.....I tried to get the court to entertain a custody change and was promptly told that since I left my children in the care of their mother, I as much as said that I felt she was compitent to care for them....and that was the end of that.  Changing custody once it is set is a very difficult challenge.  You have to really be able to demonstrate that the children are at risk in the current environment....otherwise....I've not heard of many cases that were successful.  Not saying you shouldn't try, just trying to let you know what you are up against.

TC
Logged
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 04:47:24 PM »

 Sad Thanks TC, I didn't think it would be easy but it sure does sound as if it is unattainable for me to get custody of my children back. It's hard to hear definately. Maybe I could at least find a way for my visitations to be changed to what seems like the normal vacations for those out of state. I am going to start small by asking for my maiden last name (which I was NOT granted in the divorce) and then continue to try and work on what I feel is best for my children. I appreciate you coming by and answering my questions. Thank you so much!
Logged
TC
Guest
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 07:30:38 PM »

You should definately be able to get non-standard out-of-state visitation awarded...typically at least a month during the summer and a significant portion of the Christmas break.....as well as the Spring break....though you may well have to pay for all transportation since you moved on your own.  But yeh, that is definately something I would advise you to seek.

As for the custody...I'm not trying to talk you out of it, just giving my opinion and my experience so that you know what you may be up against.

TC
Logged
m_t
Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 13773


WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2008, 10:07:35 PM »

What is the actual distance you're talking about for visitation? That's what will determine how often you can reasonably expect to have the kids...
Logged

Fuck Cancer

"Women are angels. When someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly. On a broomstick. We are flexible."

Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them in with your favorite colors.
The Kite Runner, Khale
TMBS
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2008, 05:53:59 PM »

The actual distance between us is around 419 miles (I had to google map it). He lives in Alexander City, AL and I in North Carolina. We meet in Georgia as we have always done. I have had our children for the two past summer vacations. This last one however was because "he was nice enough to give them to me" because I was saying how important I believe it is for the children to spend significant time with both of us. He says that he agreed but, that he wanted me to know that he was doing it to be nice, not because the judge told him to. That and because it saves him from having to pay a sitter or daycare during the summer in which he already pays during the year due to working late and during the weekends all the time. Which I knew already. I have heard it all. Right now my visitations are only two weeks out of the summer, however I am supposed to give him notice. I would like to see that I get most of the summer. The only reason I would like to see this in writing is due to the fact that he keeps holding it over my head that he's doing it because he's nice. There's more background to that but, to put it bluntly: I'm tired of waiting for him to pull the rug out from under me as soon as I don't give him his way.
So, with me being 419 miles away would I assume that I would only get two weeks, non consecutive, with prior written notice for visitation for the rest of the time in which he has custody of the children?
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.15 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!